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Chapter 16: Valid Value Estimates and Value Estimate Validation: Better Methods and Better Testing for Stated Preference Research
1 Ian J. Bateman INTRODUCTION This chapter provides personal reflections on some of the recent stated preference valuation studies I have been fortunate enough to be involved in and attempts to draw out some common themes and findings with the hope that these might form the basis for future research in the area. In so doing I draw upon the work of a large number of colleagues to whom I am deeply indebted.2 The background to this work is the rise in applied cost–benefit analysis which has progressively spread out from the confines of a few government departments in a small number of countries to now represent one of the major approaches to decision-making across the world. This expansion is most marked in countries such as the USA and the UK where economic approaches in general and cost–benefit analysis in particular now underpins the work of a vast array of decision-making by government and its agencies, being applied to fields as diverse as water quality management, road building, health planning, climate change mitigation, and so on. Because cost–benefit analysis seeks to place values (conventionally measured in monetary units) on all the benefits and costs (including opportunity costs) of a given project, its growing application has necessarily entailed an increased institutional acceptance of techniques for valuing preferences for non-market goods. This, in turn, has resulted in a massive expansion in valuation studies, developing from just a few early applications in the post-war decades to a discernable increase in...
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